US$45m fund to catalyse investment in renewable energy

Source: US$45m fund to catalyse investment in renewable energy | Sunday News (Business)

Judith Phiri, Business Reporter

THE Government has reaffirmed its commitment to taking urgent action to mitigate the effects of climate change, through the setting up of a US$45 million fund to catalyse investment in renewable energy.

Speaking on Climate Change Financing and its Implications for Industrialisation and Trade, at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) 2024 ZITF International Business Conference (IBC) last Wednesday, Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube revealed that they were rolling out several climate action programmes and projects.

He said as Government they have been spearheading efforts to mobilise climate finance and engage the private sector in climate action. 

“Through the Budget, climate action programmes and projects, such as climate-smart agriculture practices (Pfumvudza/Intwasa) construction of climate resilient infrastructure; investments in renewable energy, climate change-related diseases research and surveillance, among others.

“Furthermore, Public Investment Management (PIM) Guidelines were amended to incorporate climate risk assessment into the infrastructure planning and delivery process. In addition, a Disaster Risk Financing facility has been established with support from the African Risk Capacity (ARC) to enhance preparedness and responsiveness to climate-related impacts,” he said.

He said climate finance has also been mobilised through a programmatic partnership between the Joint SDG Fund and local stakeholders, with a four-year programme.

The minister said the programme has been jointly developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), UN Women, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Government of Zimbabwe having allocated US$45 million to catalyse investments in renewable energy for the acceleration of the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Prof Ncube said the Joint SDG Fund is contributing US$10 million while the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) and local private-sector partners, including Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG), Zimnat Asset Management and CABS are contributing US$35 million.

“It is also worth noting that, the Government has pronounced Carbon Credits Trading (General) Regulations through Statutory Instrument 150 of 2023. These regulations provide for the control and management of carbon credit trading projects in the country, as well as providing for the legal framework necessary for ensuring sustainable development and account for the country’s contribution towards global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he added.

He said in a bid to enhance accountability and transparency around climate tagging within programmes and projects, the Development Projects Management Information System (DevProMIS) has been developed and will soon be operationalised to enable comprehensive tracking of climate-related expenditures across public and development partner-supported programmes.

The minister said sustainable green financing, a critical component of green industrialisation and trade, therefore, presents an opportunity for developing countries to leapfrog to higher levels of development through transitioning to low-carbon and resource-efficient economies.

“By evolving to low-carbon economies, there will be a growing demand for green technologies and services, thus developing countries stand to benefit from this transition by developing new industries and creating new jobs, ultimately reducing poverty and inequality by providing access to clean energy, clean water and other basic services, in a way enhancing prospects of shaping a world that is sustainable, inclusive and prosperous for all,” said Prof Ncube.